Last Modified: November 2016
Trip Code: BCT
Validity: November 2016 – December 2017
Take a glimpse inside one of the world’s most stunning cities! Cape Town boasts great views, beautiful beaches, exquisite cuisines, and unique African culture. In this 5-day tour, you’ll experience only the best of Cape Town with highlights that’ll take you to every corner of this wonderful city.
Table of Contents
We’ve smoothed away some of adventure travel’s rougher edges to craft a style of travel that has an added degree of, well… comfort. Enjoy a more relaxed pace of travel, comfortable accommodation, more included activities and many meals along the way.
Grassroots travel, authentic experiences and local adventures – Explorer trips are the essential Travels and Chill journeys. Taking you to the heart of a culture via myriad ancient sites, modern cities, national parks and local icons, these trips are big on real life experiences.
Is This Trip Right For You?
Suitable for all types.
Why We Love It!
Perfect experience to see the most highlighted points of Cape Town in a short time.
Your tour begins at the iconic center of Cape Town. Table Mountain is one of the most beautiful and scenic landscapes in Southern Africa and surely something that cannot be missed! Taking the cable car up, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of Lions Head and the Twelve Apostles overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Bring comfortable walking shoes, as there are beautiful trails at the top of Table Mountain which you can explore. If you’re not feeling adventurous, enjoy yourself in the Table Mountain Cafe for a cup of coffee and snacks.
We continue into Cape Town’s city centre where we will explore the beautiful and bright colourful homes of Bo Kaap. This small town nestled on the side of Signal Hill is one of Cape Town’s oldest neighborhoods. Venture through the small alleyways to walk beside the iconic colourful homes, enjoy the traditional cuisines from side shops in the area, or take a break to admire the beauty of Bo Kaap. This neighborhood may be tiny, but it packs a lot of excitement.
Camps Bay beach is one of Cape Town’s most beautiful and scenic areas. A perfect way to end the first day of this tour, you’ll enjoy the stunning views from Camps Bay, situated at the base of Table Mountain. Walk along the white sand beach to dip your toes in the chilly Arctic ocean, take a stroll along the beach strip to shop for souvenirs, or have a seat at some of Camps Bays best dining spots for supper and a cocktail. A sunset on the beach is a must see!
- Table Mountain Cable Car
Second day of this tour takes you to the stunning wineries of Southern Cape. Enjoy another leisurly day wine tasting some of the best vineyards in Africa with this half day experience in Franschoek. We’ll guide you through some of the best wineries for casual tastings, a wine lecture, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful lunch at one of the vineyards. The mountain ranges and green peaks are what compliment this stunning area of Cape Town. In a sense, you’ll feel like you’re tucked away in a cove of Africa with endless stunning wines!
- Franschhoek Wine Tram
Penguins and Africa’s Southern-most tip is certainly something any visitor cannot miss. We’ll take the day driving along Cape Town’s stunning and scenic peninsula coast, taking moments to stop out of the car and take photos along the way. This is one of Africa’s most scenic ocean drives and you’ll surely have your noses pressed against the windows the entire way. Our first stop will be at Cape Point, a lighthouse situated at the peak of an overlook where you’ll have panoramic views of Cape’s Peninsula and the two oceans. There’s an option to take a cable car up if you’re not up for a hike, but be aware of baboons as you’ll have many sightings at this viewpoint.
We will then head our way to Boulders Beach where you’ll have time to leisurely enjoy the magnificent penguins of Cape Town. Sit yourself down at the beach where you can watch the penguins swim in the ocean or take a small stroll to the neighboring lookout where you’ll be able to witness hundreds of penguins nesting on the sand and collectively grooming themselves. A memorable highlight of Cape Town, this surely a day where you won’t want to forget your camera!
- Cape Point Entry Fee
Boulders Beach Entry Fee
A day of Cape Town’s history, you’ll start the day by hopping onto a ferry to cruise to Robben Island. This historic landmark of Southern Cape is an experience of a lifetime. Popularly known as the island which housed Nelson Mandela while he served time in jail, you’ll have time to walk around in a guided tour and be educated by those who were once convicted on Robben Island themselves. After the half-day excursion, you’ll have time to leisurely walk around Cape Town’s most prominent shopping area and have a bite to eat or shop till you drop. The V&A Waterfront not only offers activities such as riding a ferris wheel or finding a great seafood restaurant, but you can head your way into the grand mall where there will be plenty of opportunity to do some shopping of all sorts or find another great place to dine.
- Robben Island Guided Tour
The last day of the tour will not be a dull one, as we head to one of Cape Town’s best and lively outdoor markets. The Old Biscuit Mill offers more shops and dining options for Cape Town, however on Saturday mornings the entire area turns into a street food fair with artisans crafts. Save your appetite for this experience, as you’ll be able to walk past mouthwatering options and enjoy the afternoon perusing amongst this lively atmosphere.
To end the day, we’ll head towards Kirstenbosch Gardens, a UNESCO Heritage site which offers gorgeous sceneries of the Twelve Apostles with hundreds of species of plant life. For any botanical enthusiast, this is the place to explore and have a leisurely stroll along the many garden paths. The garden recently built a modern tree walk which weaves through the high branches of sturdy oaks and pines – an experience you cannot miss!
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Entry Fee
The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient – it’s all part of the experience after all!
Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Expect some culture shock. You’ll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
- Table Mountain Cable Car
- Franschhoek Wine Tram
- Cape Point Entry Fee
- Boulders Beach Entry Fee
- Robben Island Guided Tour
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Entry Fee
*Children under the age of 18 may vary in price.
Maximum of 5 travellers per group.
Your Fellow Travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group.
If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
- Cable Car
When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and tipping. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.
Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.
Meals Not Included
For lunches not included, a budget of $10 USD to $15 USD per meal will be more than sufficient.
For dinners not included, a budget of $12 USD to $25 USD per main entree is expected.
These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget or are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.
If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.
Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Travels and Chill destinations.
Usually the equivalent of around $5 USD to $10 USD per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don’t have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.
To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.
- Basic Restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
- Local Guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest $2 USD to $3 USD per person, per day for local guides.
- Your Crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks where applicable) – You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $2 USD to $3 USD per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra $500 USD for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
Credit Cards, ATMs, and Money Exchange
Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.
With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction – please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it’s not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you’re on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.
Please note: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.
On this trip you will be accompanied by a Group Leader and a Driver. (Depending on your group size – from time to time your leader will also be your driver)
Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip and managing trip logistics.
Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Our trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader.
While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting. Our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.
Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.
We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and driver; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you’ll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Travels and Chill itinerary, and Travels and Chill makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it’s deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction – if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.travelsandchill.com/contact
As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change – it’s important that you check for yourself. Residents from countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: No visa required
Belgium: No visa required
Canada: No visa required
Germany: No visa required
Ireland: No visa required
Netherlands: No visa required
New Zealand: No visa required
Switzerland: No visa required
United Kingdom: No visa required
USA: No visa required
Citizens of the above countries do not need visas to visit South Africa as a tourist. Upon arrival you will be given a free three-month multi-entry visa stamp. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. Please note that you require six blank pages and your passport needs to have a minimum of six months validity to enter South Africa. Also note that to enter South Africa you may be required to show proof of onward travel plans and a valid yellow fever certificate.
Please note that non-machine readable passports are no longer accepted by South African immigration. All visitors to South Africa must have a machine readable travel document (e-passport). Failure to present an e-passport will result in denied entry. Passengers with a valid visa issued in a non-machine readable passport will be handled on a case by case basis, but a fine will still be applicable.
Yellow Fever Certificate
As of October 1st 2011, A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is now required for all passengers over one year of age who arrive or are transiting through South Africa, from a country or region listed by the World Health Organization as infected by yellow fever. Travellers unable to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival in South Africa will be refused entry. There is no option for travellers without a vaccination certificate to be vaccinated on arrival. Please note this also includes transiting through an infected country or region.
Travelling with Children
A new immigration regulation will take effect from 1st October 2014, whereby parents will need to produce an original unabridged birth certificate if they are travelling with children. The new regulation has been put in place to protect children from being abducted, kidnapped and preventing child trafficking. The Department of Home Affairs has urged all parents to apply for unabridged certificates for their children. Additionally, further documentation including permission to travel, may be required if only one parent is travelling. These are requirements of the immigration regulation 6 (12)(a) for parents travelling with children. We recommend travellers check requirements before travel as they can change. More information can be found here: http://www.nwivisas.com/nwi-blog/south-africa/grace-period-for-parents-travelling-with-children/#sthash.VKZSSlHE.dpuf.
What to Take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You’ll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.
- Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
- Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities.
- Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Camera with spare batteries. You’ll take more photos than you think.
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate.
- A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.
Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and lodges have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
Climate and Seasonal Information
Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring warm winter clothing such as thermals, wool pullover, fleece, jacket, gloves and a woolly hat.
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It’s also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you’ll be visiting.
As a rule we recommend you don’t drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn’t serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it’s enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Travels and Chill travellers. Travels and Chill’s philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Travels and Chill, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It’s about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you’re travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below:
- Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We’ve already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter.
- Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent.
- Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste.
- Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions.
- Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy.
- Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone.
- Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you.
- Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags.
Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel.
You may notice businesses offering an optional ‘Walk with the Lions’ experience. We ask all travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. While wildlife viewing is a big part of many of our itineraries, we strive to only view animals in their natural habitats and to do so with the greatest level of respect. The lion walking industry directly contributes to the captive breeding and canned hunting of lions. While activities like lion walking may appear fun and educational, or even claim to be working in the name of conservation, they are unnatural and stressful for the animals involved. Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans often shortens their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.